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Chess Journeys: Tales of Adult Improvement

Chess Journeys: Tales of Adult Improvement

By Dr. Kevin Scull
A podcast dedicated to the journey of adult chess improvement. Each week a guest will join me to discuss what has worked for them, what hasn't worked as well, and the status of their journey.
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Ep. 29 Chris Wainscott (1700 USCF)

Chess Journeys: Tales of Adult Improvement

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Ep. 51 JJ Lang (2100 USCF) - Chess Feels Podcast
This week on Chess Journeys, JJ Lang stopped by for a conversation about chess improvement. We talked a bit about his own rapid improvement followed by a long plateau. Additionally, we discussed a wide range of topics such as how and when to calculate, the value of coaching, excuses for losses, chasing the IM title, the value of endgame study, and the importance of mastering “easy” tactics. Be sure to check out the Chessfeels podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts. If you would like to be a guest on Chess Journeys, contact me on Twitter or fill out the following Google Form:  https://forms.gle/gSnvmUnvpykkgT1y5 As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:25:10
June 30, 2022
Ep. 50 Jennifer Shahade (WGM)
Welcome to the 50th episode of Chess Journeys! To cebreate, I bring you a special guest, Jennifer Shahade. We had a great conversation regarding a range of topics. We discussed her experiences as a developing chess player. We chatted about finding the balance between underconfidence and overconfidence. Of course, Jennifer shared some stories from her new book, Chess Queens. We focused on the adult improvers to give us all some inspiration. Be sure to check out Jennifer Shahade’s newest book, Chess Queens! https://www.amazon.com/Chess-Queens/dp/1399701398/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1655952339&sr=8-1 If you would like to be a guest on Chess Journeys, contact me on Twitter or fill out the following Google Form:  https://forms.gle/gSnvmUnvpykkgT1y5 As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:06:23
June 23, 2022
Ep. 49 Bert (700 USCF, 900 Rapid, 1500 Daily)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Bert. He’s an adult improver trying to juggle parenthood and a career with chess. We spoke extensively about how he uses data analysis to improve his study plans and opening choices. We talked about his choice of the King’s Gambit as a means of maximizing fun and results at his rating level. Bert talked about his study plan and how coaches have impacted his training. We also discussed his fear of playing kids in tournaments. Are they all underrated masters in waiting or do some just hang pieces like other players rated under 1000? If you would like to be a guest on Chess Journeys, contact me on Twitter or fill out the following Google Form:  https://forms.gle/gSnvmUnvpykkgT1y5 As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:20:09
June 17, 2022
Ep. 48 Evan (2000 USCF)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Evan. He’s a software engineer, adult improver, and van lifer. We discussed his long journey in chess starting with his weekly chess tournaments as a child culminating in a high school chess championship. It turns out most of his progress was made by playing slower time control OTB tournaments. But he did provide a number of resources for improvement such as Chernev’s Logical Chess: Move by Move. Be sure to check out his Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDHbNJ8kCgTQl_9gHy79I1w If you would like to be a guest on Chess Journeys, contact me on Twitter or fill out the following Google Form:  https://forms.gle/gSnvmUnvpykkgT1y5 As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:09:57
June 09, 2022
Ep. 47 Jay (1800 USCF)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Jay. He stated with no hesitation his goal of reaching GM as a 40+ adult improver. Jay has a relatable journey full of starting and stopping through the years as life demands have called him away from chess. However, in 2018, Jay returned for good. In our conversation, he discusses how he restructured his life around chasing his goal. We talked about coaching, study plans, and resources such as master level game analysis. As Jay says someone has to make GM as and adult improver, and he would like to be the one who does it! If you would like to be a guest on Chess Journeys, contact me on Twitter or fill out the following Google Form:  https://forms.gle/gSnvmUnvpykkgT1y5 As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:16:20
June 02, 2022
Ep. 46 Jim (The Return!! 1500 Lichess)
This week on Chess Journeys, the first ever guest, Jim, returns for a followup interview. We discussed what he has done during the last year, his rating gains, and his OTB experiences. We spent the bulk of the episode talking about Jim’s experiences preparing for the Chicago Open, including his first over the board tournament. If you would like to be a guest on Chess Journeys, contact me on Twitter or fill out the following Google Form: https://forms.gle/gSnvmUnvpykkgT1y5 As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:08:54
May 26, 2022
Ep. 45 Julia (1700)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Julia from the Chessfeels podcast. We talked about a variety of topics such as the challenge of wanting to invest more of yourself into chess and being limited by time. We talked about Julia’s journey, process, and non-rating focused approach. Of course, we talked about psychology, and Julia provided a few general tips. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:11:56
May 19, 2022
Ep. 44 Braden (1908 CFC 2470 Lichess)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Braden Laughlin. He recently won a tournament and continues to gain rating points despite being a full time student with a career. We talked a lot about his use of videos early in his progression and his continued use of videos. We also discussed his burnout and what brought him back to chess. It was an inspiring conversation. Be sure to check out his Youtube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWdkzuIjhhmIa1w69RFuXQA As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:19:53
May 12, 2022
Ep. 43 Nick (2100 Lichess)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Nick. He’s a chesspunk, Chessable legend, and avid adult improver. We started with Nick’s early journey which saw him improve quickly from about 500-1200 by playing a ton of blitz. We spent a lot of time talking about Nick’s use of Chessable. He recommended his favorite courses and suggested ways of using Chessable more effectively. We also talked about the different resources that helped him get through two plateaus. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:09:27
May 05, 2022
Ep. 42 David (2000)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with David from 64: Chess Podcast. He is a return guest so we didn’t delve as much into his background. We focused mostly on the topics of how to use Chessable, coaching, and chess psychology. David talked about his decision to switch from e4 to d4 upon hitting 2000. We discussed the importance of ratings vs. other means of measuring our value and worth as a chess player. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:18:40
April 28, 2022
Ep. 41 Tatev Abrahamyan (WGM)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with WGM Tatev Abrahamyan. The bulk of our conversation focused on chess psychology. We talked about the challenges of feeling confident with only limited time for improvement. Tatev also talked extensively about the role of coaches in her own life and suggestions for others as they choose a coach. We also talked about her newest project the Bryght Labs chessboard. You can find more information here: https://bryghtlabs.com/products/chessup-pre-order-slate As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:07:47
April 21, 2022
Ep. 40 Rene (1700)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Rene. She’s a music conductor who fills her time with chess study and play. We talked about a wide variety of topics such as time control, structuring (or not structuring one’s times), and her love of end games. We spent the most time talking about her relationship with her coach IM Igor Foygel. Rene has worked with Igor for 3 years, and he has made a large impact on her journey. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:14:49
April 14, 2022
Ep. 39 Jesse (1250 Rapid Lichess)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Jessie. He’s a tech worker in San Francisco trying to balance work and chess. He had a great conversation primarily focus on the issue of burnout and the psychological aspects of chess. Jessie has already burned out twice and gives advice for avoiding future burnout. We also talked about the value of coaches and OTB chess vs. online chess. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30. Be sure to check out the At Least 21 chess tournament - https://www.charlottechesscenter.org/alto
01:02:07
April 07, 2022
Ep. 38 Omar Returns! (900)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Omar, otherwise known as Chess Von Doom. That’s right Omar is back. If you missed him the first time around, be sure to check out episode 10 to hear about the beginning of his journey. For today’s conversation, we picked up with his recently completed second tournament. Omar reflected on his mindset and the ups and downs of tournaments. We also discussed his decision to dive into Andras Toth’s new Chessable course: The Beginner’s 1. E4 Repertoire and the role of coaches. Omar is an inspiring guy, and I hope you enjoy the show! As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30. Be sure to check out the At Least 21 chess tournament - https://www.charlottechesscenter.org/alto
01:21:22
March 31, 2022
Ep. 37 Michael (1600 Rapid)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Michael. He’s a father of 4 (2 young children) that returned to chess a year ago. We talked about his study habits, resources, and tournament experiences. We discussed complimenting our chess study by squeezing out smaller moments during the day for shorter types of chess learning like tactics training. Michael is currently going through the Yusopov series and loving it, as well as Silman’s Complete Endgame course. We wrapped up the show by talking about the challenge and pressure of going to tournaments while having so many life obligations. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30. Be sure to check out the At Least 21 chess tournament - https://www.charlottechesscenter.org/alto
01:03:43
March 24, 2022
Ep. 36 Amy (1000)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Amy. She’s a professor, musician, and avid chess player. We talked about a variety of topics such as her introduction to chess via a scholar’s mate delivered by her husband. We discussed her daily/weekly chess routine, and how she juggles a full life and chess. Amy talked about her chess improvement techniques, which includes no chess books! As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
56:56
March 17, 2022
Ep. 35 Noah (1900 CFC)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Noah. He’s a 23 year old full time student/worker, who carves out time for adult improvement. Noah has had one of those journeys we all aspire to, breaking 1800 after a year of serious chess and not stopping there. We talked about the different phases of his journey and the changes that he made when hitting plateaus. Noah recommended Daniel Naroditsky videos, Silman’s Reassess Your Chess, and other valuable resources. We also talked about the value of coaching and the grueling nature of weekend tournaments. Be sure to check out his stream at https://www.twitch.tv/king_gnomes. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:09:55
March 10, 2022
Ep. 34 Megan (1900)
This week on Chess Journeys I spoke with Megan. She’s a data engineer and member of the Chesspunk community, those dedicated to adult improvement. We talked about her journey in chess starting in 2015 with a rating around 700 and peaking at over 1900 a few years later. Megan shared with us her approach to chess improvement with a focus on tactics and annotating her games. Megan also talked about the value of having two coaches, and how much they’ve added to her game. We also discussed her frequent over the board events and the larger percentage of children at events since the start of the pandemic. It wasn’t all rating gains for Megan, and she talked about her struggles and rating dips. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:05:46
March 03, 2022
Ep. 33 Simon (1900 FIDE)
This week on Chess Journeys I spoke with Simon. He’s an academic with two children, who is trying to find time to improve at chess. We talked about the struggles of wanting to read books but not having the time or energy to do so. Simon talked a lot about his process of watching videos that helped him understand the thinking process of great players. We discussed intuition vs. calculation and the important role that intuition plays. Simon plays one classical game a week, watches a lot of videos, and plays a lot of blitz. This approach has gotten him to 1900 FIDE, including a recent surge of 100 points. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:02:47
February 24, 2022
Ep. 32 Muskee Books (2000 USCF)
This week on Chess Journeys I spoke with Muskee Books. We spoke about his 13 years playing competitive chess. Muskee has endured the ups and downs, and the joys and heartache of chess. Muskee reached a high of 2100 before falling back under 2000. However, recently he won a tournament. We talked about persevering through long plateaus and even rating dips. Muskee talked about his process, which included going over many game collections. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:15:48
February 17, 2022
Ep. 31 Stacia Pugh (USCF 1700)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Stacia Pugh. It was an inspiring and fascinating conversation with the most obedient student that I’ve ever met. We discussed her massive ratings gain from 1000 - 1791. But we spent more time on her slide back to 1500, as Stacia rebuilt her game from the ground up. We discussed why she did it, how bad it felt, and how she persevered despite the setback. She is truly a Phoenix who is currently rising out of the flames of that disaster with a goal towards hitting 1800 soon. Stacia provided many resources and tips on how to improve and get the most out of coaching relationships. Be sure to check out her Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn2k14U03rNRHApDIloxOkA As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:15:35
February 10, 2022
Ep. 30 Szefru - Fruzsina (WFM)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Fruzsina. She’s a WFM with WIM and WGM norms, who streams and teaches chess. We discussed Fruzsi’s chess story including her childhood success, her success as a streamer, and her current decision regarding chasing norms. Fruzsina gave some tips regarding how to best use coaches, how chess helps kids, and some specific book recommendations. We also talked about the difference between learning as a child and an adult. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys  If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30. Be sure to visit Fruzina’s stream at: https://www.twitch.tv/szefru
49:01
February 03, 2022
Ep. 29 Chris Wainscott (1700 USCF)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Chris Wainscott. He’s 48, an adult improver, co-founder of the Chesspunks Twitter community, tournament director, and prolific writer. We discussed his goal of reaching 2200 and the process he is taking to achieve it. Perhaps most interesting is his up and down rating, which peaked at nearly 1900 before landing today at just over 1700. Chris is an avid Chessable user, and we discussed his streak of 600 days. We also talked about the many resources that Chris has used, and he recommended a myriad of games collections. His favorite being Tal-Botvinnik 1960. You can check out Chris’s Blog at http://ontheroadtochessmaster.com/ As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:25:57
January 27, 2022
Ep. 28 Dr. Skull (1650 USCF)
This week on Chess Journeys, guest host Neal Bruce interviews me, Dr. Skull. I reflect on my chess origin story and returning to the game a year ago with high expectations. This is a challenging episode for me, as I process the disconnect between spending 500 hours on chess this year and making no ratings gains. Neal does a great job as my therapist, and I hope our conversation is helpful to others struggling with plateaus. We also discussed the resources that I used this year including books, chessable courses, and coaches. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys . If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:19:33
January 20, 2022
Ep. 27 Andrew (2300 Chess.com Blitz)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Andrew. He’s 24, has a career, and is obsessed with chess. Andrew’s had tremendous growth over the last 2 years. He started by getting whomped by his 800 roommate, but now has a current peak of 2300. Impressive stuff indeed! We talked about a wide range of topics such as videos, books, and his love of chess. My biggest takeaway from the interview is that Andrew hasn’t used plans to guide his progress. Instead, Andrew does what he enjoys. Sometimes that means studying, other times that means playing chess. If Andrew isn’t in the mood for chess that day, he doesn’t force it. He isolated two books as having the biggest impact: My System by Nimzowitsch and Silman’s Amateur’s Mind. He also spends a lot of time on Chessable with books such as the Woodpecker Method and 100 Endgames you must know. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at www.chessable.com/chessjourneys . If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30. You can check out Andrew’s informative post on Reddit at https://www.reddit.com/r/chess/comments/qo8odn/improving_as_an_adult_learner/
01:05:10
January 13, 2022
Ep. 26 Tim (2100 chess.com, 1800 USCF)
This week on Chess Journeys I am joined by Tim. In many ways this is a selfish podcast, as I specifically invited Tim to talk about his method of breaking out of a plateau at 1600. Tim and I talked a lot about his journey and the plateaus that he has faced. Tim defends his hot take that reading chess books isn’t necessary until 1600! Tim spends a lot of time working with Chessable for openings and did a thorough Woodpecker Method, which he attributes to a big ratings jump. We discussed other topics such as his thoughts on coaches, the psychology of OTB tournaments, and the importance of calculation.  Chessable Endgame Course is https://www.chessable.com/timeless-technique-strategic-endgames/course/42898/ As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at chessable.com/chessjourneys. If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:14:44
January 06, 2022
Ep. 25 Coach David Mencik (1850 FIDE)
This week on Chess Journeys, I am joined by David Mencik. He’s a busy academic, coach, and adult improver. David and I discussed his approach to developing as a player and helping other adult improvers as a coach. David shared his origin story, his study plans, his favorite resources, and his coaching style. Most enlightening were his 3 takeaways for how students can get the most from their coaching. David also outlined his method for endgame improvement, which involves, Averbakh’s Essential Endgame Knowledge,Shereshevky’s Endgame Strategy, and Hellsten’s Mastering Endgame Strategy. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at chessable.com/chessjourneys. If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:23:01
December 30, 2021
Ep. 24 Kevin Perera (1368 USCF)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Kevin. He has a busy life and career, but he’s a dedicated adult improver. We had a wide ranging conversation focusing on coaching, resources, and heroes. Kevin is bringing an interesting approach to his improvement, identifying heroes that match his style. Kevin plays through their games and tries to meld together information from Pachman, My System, and Krammik. It’s a fascinating approach that has me thinking who are my “chess heroes?” Kevin also reflected on his thoughts on coaches. He’s worked with many coaches and finds it important to blend the advice of many experts, rather than just one. Kevin forgot to mention one important piece of his journey during the podcast, he met his best friend Blake over a chess board back in 2014! Chess building friendships is wonderful!  As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at chessable.com/chessjourneys.  If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:15:39
December 23, 2021
Ep. 23 Joel (1670 USCF)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Joel. He’s a dedicated adult improver and father of four, so time is limited and precious. We talked about a wide variety of topics such as the importance of actually playing chess, even if it is just blitz. Joel shared his favorite resources, his study methods, and his reasons for employing a coach. Joel has spent a lot of time on tactics, reaching a 3000 chess dot com puzzle rating! Joel also uses Chessable extensively. His streak is at 1489!  Be sure to check out his Youtube videos at: https://www.youtube.com/c/DadLifeChess. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, be sure to check out my Chessable page at chessable.com/chessjourneys. If you are considering using Aimchess, please use the code drscull30.
01:20:03
December 16, 2021
Ep. 22 Zach (1700 Chess.com Rapid)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Zach, a former Magic the Gathering player who has returned to his first love chess! We talk about his origin story and his time as first board for his high school team. Zach outlines his process for improvement, which features 6 week focused studies. Zach recommends a lot of books and Chessable courses including Yusupov’s orange books, Kostya’s Endgame Studies course, and a number of tactics courses. We also talked about the psychology of “official” tournaments and whether or not OTB chess is “real” chess. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Also, thanks to Chessable for sponsoring this episode, you can check them out at chessable.com/chessjourneys.
01:08:19
December 09, 2021
Ep. 21 Jeremy Kane (NM 2300 USCF)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with NM Jeremy Kane. We spoke about the challenges of pursuing chess improvement while raising a family, especially with an infant! Jeremy shared his thoughts on books that helped him, annotated game collections, and the reality of studying chess as a non-professional. We also discussed his forthcoming book The Next to Last Mistake. We focused on the challenges of remaining vigilant and resilient in the face of difficult or even losing positions. As well as, the process of writing a book without an IM or GM title. As always you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys. Be sure to check out Jeremy’s book! https://www.amazon.com/Next-Last-Mistake-Improve-Determination/dp/057883829X
01:00:60
December 02, 2021
Ep. 20 Neal Bruce (2100 Lichess)
This week I’m joined by the one and only Neal Bruce. Neal is well known for his propensity to murder books and turn them into notecards. Today, we talked about his past, present, and future chess journeys. We talked about how much time he has for chess, how small habits have transformative power, and his chess goals. We also talked about the creation of the #chesspunks community on Twitter. As always, you can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys.
01:22:19
November 25, 2021
Ep. 19 Luca / Chessatlas (2000 Lichess)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Luca, author of the blog Atlas (https://chessatlas.net/atlas/). We spoke about his adult improvement journey. We discussed his regime before his current work sabbatical and what he is doing with his extra time. Luca laid out his approach including working through Yusupov’s chess books, the Woodpecker method, and playing longer games. You can support the show at https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys.
01:16:53
November 18, 2021
Ep. 18 Kostya Kavutskiy (IM International Master 2469 USCF)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with IM, coach, and content creator Kostya Kavutskiy. We discussed his journey as an adult improver, his recommendations, and the Chess Dojo. Kostya provided a wide range of helpful advice including how to play through annotated games, the secret recipe to chess improvement, and the best way to learn endgames. Be sure to check out Kostya’s recently released Chessable Course: Endgame Studies 101. Also, be sure to catch the regular streams and videos released by the Chess Dojo.
01:14:11
November 11, 2021
Ep. 17 Kevin J. (1500 USCF)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with another Kevin. We discussed how he uses his 10 hours a week of study time. We had a discussion about the value of opening plans over lines. Kevin also shared with me his Woodpecker style tactics project as well as his newest notecard project. We also discussed his first over the board experiences and what it’s like living in the St. Louis chess capital of the U.S. If you'd like to support the show you can head over to https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys.
01:06:59
November 04, 2021
Ep. 16 Daniel Lona (1400 Chess.com Rapid)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Daniel. After playing in middle school and a 27 year hiatus, Daniel was inspired by the Queen’s Gambit to return to chess. Daniel is dedicated to chess, putting in 3-4 hours daily. Over the last 10 months, he’s raised his rapid rating from 1000-1400. We discussed his return, his habits, OTB chess, and the value of coaches. Daniel recommends Chessable, Irving Chernev's Chess: Move by Move and several of Dan Heisman's books.
01:06:17
October 28, 2021
Ep. 15 Pascoe (1800 USCF)
This week on Chess Journeys, I’m joined by Pascoe. After solving chess as a child, Pascoe returned to chess as an adult improver. This week Pascoe shared his story of improvement over an 8 year span. We discussed his different rating gains which he attributes to a fleshed out opening repertoire and endgame study. We also discussed his love hate relationship with some of Jeremy Silman’s most lauded books. Pascoe recommends Reassess Your Chess, Silman’s Complete Endgame Course, 100 Endgames you must know, and Move First, Think Later.
01:11:41
October 21, 2021
Ep. 14 Max (2000 USCF)
This week on Chess Journeys, I had the pleasure of talking to someone in the middle of a ratings gain. Max Farberov recently went 5-0 in a tournament, sending his rating over 2000 USCF. Max provided a tournament report for his inspiring success. We discussed Max’s approach to improvement which focuses mainly on analyzing his own games. We also talked about Max’s thoughts on videos, books, and other tools such as Chessable, and Chessbase. If you are looking to support the show financially, please visit https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys
01:13:41
October 14, 2021
Ep. 13 IM Andras Toth
This week on Chess Journeys, I chat with the legendario himself, IM Andras Toth. Coach Andras and I discussed a wide range of topics such as his decision to teach primarily adults, his relationship with chess improvers and the chesspunks community, his favorite video series, and many other improvement tips. In other news the show now has a patreon page at: https://www.patreon.com/ChessJourneys Please do not feel obligated to donate!
01:12:54
October 07, 2021
Ep. 12 Ono (1100)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with Ono. We discussed the challenges of fitting chess into a full and busy adult life. Ono talked about creating long term goals based on learning rather than rating. He provided books and videos that have helped him. Ono also discussed his process of mostly improving by playing rapid games and examining them without an engine. Something that I aspire to but struggle to do.
52:08
September 30, 2021
Ep. 11 Nate Solon (FM - FIDE Master)
This week on Chess Journeys, I had the pleasure of talking to Nate Solon. Nate is a data scientist and a high level chess player (FIDE Master). We talked about Nate’s approach to chess improvement and how it has changed from his childhood years to improving as an adult. We covered a wide range of topics such as how data can affect improvement and whether structure has the positive effect that we think it has. Be sure to check out Nate’s newsletter at: https://zwischenzug.substack.com/.
01:24:15
September 23, 2021
Ep. 10 Omar (1000)
This week on Chess Journeys, I talked with Omar’s about his experiences as a player recently picking up chess. We chatted about his initial dreams of becoming a GM and drawing Magnus to the reality check of his first tournament. Omar shared his over the board experiences, giving newer players great insights into the highs and lows of these experiences. We also discussed his improvement plans. Be sure to check out Omar at https://www.instagram.com/chess_chronicles/channel/. Lately, I’ve been streaming Alekhine’s Best games at https://www.twitch.tv/tinygrimes.
01:21:28
September 16, 2021
Ep. 9 Fionn (2050 Lichess Rapid)
This week on Chess Journeys, Fionn and I talked about different types of chess learners. Despite having a PhD, Fionn is very much a video oriented learner. We also discussed social vs. lone learners, book vs. video, and active vs. passive learning. We compared some of our favorite video content creators that bring out our active learning side.
01:10:38
September 09, 2021
Ep. 8 Sophie (2200 NM)
This week on Chess Journeys, Sophie and I discussed her transition from teenage scholastic player to adult improver and the new balance that needs to be struck. We discussed the transition from playing against kids to playing against adults. But primarily we focused on the psychological aspects of chess. We explored topics such as the perils of having our identity tied to success and improvement. Sophie also reflected on her unique method of breaking out of ratings plateaus by caring less and playing a lot of blitz.
01:09:17
September 01, 2021
Ep. 7 David (1900)
This week on Chess Journeys, I spoke with David. He’s in his twenties and has been playing for several years. We focused primarily on his method for working out of rating plateaus. He successfully navigated a year-long pause at 1500 and is currently stuck at 1900. We also discussed interesting topics such as the plague that is online cheating, how we process it, and randomness in chess.
01:13:49
August 26, 2021
Ep. 6 Kirk (1800 Rapid)
This week on Chess Journeys I bring in Kirk. Kirk and I talked about his systematic approach to juggling work, family, and chess improvement. We also discussed the issue of working through rating slumps and stagnation. Kirk suggested that not focusing on improvement was the answer for him. Kirk also suggested blending a variety of types of content to help improvement. 
01:09:03
August 19, 2021
Ep. 5 Jessi Shakarian (650 Chess.com)
This week I’m joined by Jessi Shakarian. She’s new to chess, first learning the moves this year! Jessi shares with us the experience of a new chess player and the impact that chess has had on the rest of her life. We discuss a wide variety of topics such as the value of ratings and coaches. Be sure to check out Jessi’s blog at https://jshakarian.medium.com/
57:59
August 12, 2021
Ep. 4 Rainer Franke (1478 Lichess, 361 USCF)
This week I’m joined by Rainer Franke, a fellow adult improver. Rainer has a wide range of ratings from 1478 on LIchess to 361 over the board USCF. We talk about his progress and process including setting schedules, the mental side of chess, and Rainer’s favorite resources.
01:00:44
August 05, 2021
Ep. 3 Dr. Patzer (1500 FIDE)
This week Dr. Patzer and I discussed his chess journey. We talked about his mindmap and understanding one's priorities and making goals based on them. We discussed the pain of not making progress on your rating even though every other metric points to improvement. I think Dr. Patzer's journey will resonate with many adult improvers, and he provided endless great suggestions.  https://patzersreview.blogspot.com/ - Check out Dr. Patzer's Book Reviews Dr. Patzer's Mind Map
01:15:33
July 29, 2021
Ep. 2 - Ben Johnson (Perpetual Chess - 2100 USCF)
This week I am lucky to have a most distinguished guest, Ben Johnson. Ben hosts two amazing chess improvement podcasts, Perpetual Chess and How to Chess. We talk about his chess journey and his new found commitment to improve at chess. We discuss strategies, hurdles, and a whole lot more. 
01:06:58
July 22, 2021
Episode 1 - Jim (1400 Lichess Rapid)
For the first episode, I talk with Jim, an adult improver who has been working hard on his chess during the pandemic. He has clear goals and regularly updates the "state of his game." He is thoughtful and introspective about the process that he has been using for adult chess improvement.  If you want to be a guest on the show, reach out to drscull on Chess.com or tinygrimes on lichess. 
54:44
July 14, 2021